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Full nameMargilan
Official nameMargilan
Native nameMarg‘ilon / Марғилон
ProvinceFergana Province
Total Population197000 (2009)

     Home | City | Margilan

Margilan ( ; ) is a city (2009 pop 197,000) in Fergana Province in eastern Uzbekistan. It is located at latitude 40°28' 16 N: longitude 71°43' 29 E. at an altitude of 487 meters.

According to European legend, Margilan was founded by Alexander the Great. On a lunch stop, he was given chicken (murgh; in Persian مرغ) and bread (nan; in Persian نان), from which the town took its name. More reliable records indicate that Margilan was an important stop on the Silk Road by the 9th century AD, along the route going across the Alay Mountains to Kashgar.

Writing in the early 16th century, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, Babur, mentioned that “the pomegranates and apricots are superb .... the game in Margilan is good; white deer may be found nearby. The people are Sarts. They are a feisty people, ready with their fists. The custom of exorcism is widespread throughout Transoxiana, and most of the renowned exorcists of Samarkand and Bukhara are Margilanis. The author of the Hidaya (Burhan ud-din Ali ben Abu Bakr al-Marghilani) was from a Margilan village called Rishtan”. . This reputation for toughness extends to modern times. Margilan merchants were key players in Central Asian commerce, and were said to be a law unto themselves during Soviet days, when Margilan was the heart of Uzbekistan’s black market. Margilan today is also a stronghold of conservative Islam.

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